The last few days have been especially wonderful for me. The preparation for yesterday's exhibition was demanding. As usual, I procrastinated, hoping for inspiration, direction, a vision of how I might present this work that is so important to me.
As time grew shorter and my sense of urgency increased, I chose the simplest task and started to work. As I worked, things came to me, solutions to the problems I was facing seemed to come from nowhere. The more I worked the more focussed I became. When I encountered things that I was unsure about I would go downstairs to talk with Heather on how I might best approach them and she would stop whatever she was doing to listen and offer her ideas. When I made mistakes, she came to help and her skills once again shone like the morning sun.
The fact is I never sold anything yesterday. We had 134 visitors to the exhibition and relatively few showed much interest. But I learned something. It's about doing the work. It is the work that is important. I was happier over the last few days than I have been for a long time. My worries, oh those worries, faded into the background as I grappled with each challenge. I felt a sense of satisfaction as each of the projects reached its completion. I felt the potential of doing work that has value to me, not for the money, for the integrity of doing the work.
Many things came up yesterday that I found especially challenging. I dropped my prices. It seemed that everyone there was undervaluing their work. Many were charging at a rate that barely covered their costs. But I honestly believe that price isn't important. I don't think I will ever put a price on my work again. The real benefit, the joy, came when the few who really got what I was doing, responded to it with their own enthusiasm. That was the gift. It didn't happen a lot, but when it did, I felt very fulfilled.
I think that putting price tags on the work (mine was the most expensive work there) creates a barrier between the meaning of the piece and the joy of relating to something that speaks to us.
Heather helped me set up and did a couple of shots that I would like to share with you as evidence of my joy. (See, I'm almost smiling!)
In closing, I would like to thank Diane and Dirk whose seemingly boundless energy and professionalism made this show possible. True Gabriolans those two!